Monday, March 22, 2010

Count Me As A Nay- Vote For the New Overtime Rule...

The new post season overtime rule that was proposed by the NFL's competition committee would allow for each team to get a possession in the event that the team that receives the ball first kicks a field goal.

In my opinion its not a good ides and here is why:

1) Teams Trading Field Goals
If you've got two elite QB's playing in a game that goes to OT, i.e. Rivers vs. Manning in the Colts@ Chargers wildcard game of the 2008 postseason or Brees vs. Favre this past post season, the idea of allowing those QB's the opportunity to win the game if the other fails to put it out of reach by scoring a TD on the first possession is appealing. But what if you've got two defensive/ run heavy teams like the Ravens and Jets playing? Not so much. A game like that could last another 4 quarters before a winner is decided. Could you imagine if the Ravens @ Titans in the postseason last year, had gone into overtime and the team was not allowed to win it on a field goal. You've got rookie led Ravens offense that can’t even get the ball into field goal range, a Titans offense that turns the ball over every time they get inside the twenty, and two aggressive penalty prone defenses.

Under the new rules, let’s say the Titans get the ball first they drive the field like they'd done all game and get to the red zone. At that point the Titans have to keep playing and risk yet another turnover because they can’t win the game on a field goal. They decide to play it safe anyway, run 3 times and end the drive with a field goal. So, Joe Flacco and the Ravens trot onto the field, and they only need a field goal to not lose. Flacco drops back to pass launches one deep down the field and it’s incomplete, but wait Nick Harper just got flagged for PI. The Ravens are now in field goal range; they also play it safe on 4th down and settle for the field goal. And just like that the game continues. Titans turnover, Ravens 3 and out, Titans turnover, Ravens 3 and out...... Does that sound like a game you want to continue watching?

Personally I love smash mouth football, I couldn’t be a Ravens fan if I didn’t but the masses want offense, offense, and more offense. You’re just not going to get that from every team. And that alone could turn an otherwise "harmless" two possession overtime into something that fans simply don’t want to watch.

And despite what some may say any rule put in place to get around trading field goals in OT would simply be "unfair". What are you going to tell the Ravens that they HAVE to go for the TD on 4th down of OT or they forfeit the game? That not fair because the Titans were allowed to settle for it.

Are you going to allow the Titans to win the game on a field goal on their second position of OT? Well that kind of defeats the purpose of giving each team at least one possession in the first place. The game is still being decided by a field goal and the coin flip. The Titans ARE guaranteed the first second possession of overtime, unless there is a turnover or onside kick, thus they've still got the first chance to win the game on the field goal.

2) With Every Extra Possession the Risk of Injury Increases

This one speaks for itself. Obviously football is violent sport by nature and the risk for serious injury is inherent but could you imagine the backlash if two teams started trading field goals in OT of the AFC or NFC championship and a key player was seriously injured on one of those extra possessions?

What happens if in this years NFC Championship the Vikings do get a possession in OT and they also kick a field goal... then Drew Brees and crew come back on to the field and as Brees throws the game winning field goal Jared Allen knocks him out and he lands on his throwing shoulder funny. Yeah, the Saints won and they are going to the Super bowl but they've just lost their starting QB for the season, how much of a chance do they have? They certainly don’t win without Brees. So, are you now looking at a Super bowl blowout?

What if Favre gets hurt throwing the game winning TD on that second possession? And instead of a Manning/ Favre matchup in the Super bowl, you've got Manning vs. Sage Rosenfels or Tarvaris Jackson. Would you want to watch that? I certainly don’t.

For those players getting to the Superbowl would still be a dream come true and the fans of those teams would still be elated but that is just a small portion of the Superbowl viewing audience. The NFL is a business, they need and want the best matchup possible and I am sorry but that doesn’t include a bunch of backups battling for the top crown. Bottomline in the big game the NFL and the fans wants to see each team with its best players on the field, not the sideline.

But that’s just one football fans opinion.

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